The Duluth Model

Since the early 1980s, Duluth—a small community in northern Minnesota, USA—has been an innovator of ways to hold perpetrators accountable and keep victims safe. The “Duluth Model” is an ever-evolving way of thinking about how a community works together to end domestic violence. The Duluth Model is an organising method that prioritises victim safety and offender accountability within a social change framework. The model guides organisers to build interventions within systems that are aligned with the lived experience of victims.

A community using the Duluth Model approach:

  • has taken the blame off the victim and placed the accountability for abuse on the offender.
  • has shared policies and procedures for holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe across all agencies in the criminal and civil justice systems from 911 to the courts.
  • prioritises the voices and experiences of women who experience battering in the creation of those policies and procedures.
  • believes that domestic violence is a pattern of actions used to intentionally control or dominate an intimate partner and actively works to change societal conditions that support men’s use of tactics of power and control over women.
  • offers change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational groups for batterers.
  • has ongoing discussions between criminal and civil justice agencies, community members and victims to close gaps and improve the community’s response to battering.

For more information, please see the Duluth website or alternatively, you can also visit the Global Rights for Women website to find out more about some of the presenters and professionals engaging with the Duluth Model.